I have been playing Madden football since it was first released. Yes, that qualifies me as having certain nerdy tendencies, things I made peace with long ago. Usually I would have motored past week one of the NFL season in game well before the start of the season. That was before two kids and all of the extra things that come with having them. Last night I sat down to play my season opener versus the Jets.
Before I delve in I should point out my team is “mostly” like the Bills team for this season. In Madden 13 you go through the preseason and cut players, molding your team. I kept Tank Carder, who was claimed off waivers by the Browns last week. I also traded Terrence McGee for three mid to late round draft picks. There are a few other differences, but for the most part it is the 2012 Buffalo Bills. Vince Young is still my back up- Tarvaris Jackson was carted off in the 2nd preseason game. I wasn’t resting easy with backup QB either way.
I took the game from the Jets 34-24. Stevie Johnson was hurt fumbling away a ball and I have to try and make my offense work without him. All of the rest of the teams receivers do not receive much love from the programmers so Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will be seeing a lot of time in the pistol formation. I signed Mohammad Massaquoi to a one year deal to fluff up the receiving corps while Stevie’s broken ribs mend. The in game Rush Limbaugh suggested I was harboring a terrorist with the signing… just kidding, but they do have a Twitter feed with a list of NFL commentators lending their names including ex-Bill Ross Tucker.
Now when it comes to the real deal at 1 PM, I have some nerves starting to roll this morning. The Bills are on a
6 5 game losing streak to the Jets. It pales compared to the Patriot streak broken last year, but it is still a hurdle that needs to be jumped before we can be believed to be a playoff contender.
NY looks like a mess. That scares me. I hope the Bills don’t take too much stock in how poorly they performed in the preseason. Growing up a Marv Levy disciple I recognize how unimportant preseason can be. Just take a look at the Bills preseason record during the Super Bowl years 4-12 over that 4 year span.
Tebow was shut down last year in Buffalo when he was a member of the Broncos. I think he is a gamer and will use what he learned this week. The new Bills D-line may be up to the task, though it is the linebackers I am worried about.
Mark Sanchez is under duress. It could bring out the best in him. He never had to look over his shoulder since he was in New York, but now the Golden Child is there. It could break him, though it could also drive him to greatness.
The Jets defense will be without starting nose tackle Sione Pouha which could blow open the Bills running game. Rex Ryan inadvertently gave away Pouha’s status on Friday and I would be shocked to see him suited up, though he is listed as questionable.
For the Bills it will be exciting to see what they have planned. Buffalo kept it pretty vanilla during the preseason. If Eric Wood can stay healthy the offensive line should be nasty. If the Bills hand it to Freddy Jackson 25 times it should be an automatic win. I enjoy Chan Gailey as a coach, though I think he often outsmarts himself as well as the opposing coach. The spread offense seems to work against the strengths of our defense.
Prediction- Buffalo 29 New York 17
Not quite the Arrowhead massacre of a season ago the Bills break the Jets win streak and assert that they are all in this season. Freddy Jackson has 175 total yards.